Date:Wednesday September 20 2006
Although not really much of a secret Stephen Warnock has admitted that Mark Hughes attempted to take him to Blackburn Rovers during the summer transfer window.
As I say, not much of a secret as I think we all knew that a swap deal involving Lucas Neill going to Anfield and Stephen Warnock arriving at Ewood Park as well as cash would be one of the possibilities Hughes could have been open to as a last resort to letting Neill leave Rovers.
The Liverpool left-back, called into former England Coach Sven Goran Eriksson's squads last season would have this to say on the matter following his last two appearances for Liverpool, both of which would be as a starting member of the side:
"On the day it happened, the manager told me Blackburn were trying to arrange a swap, but made it clear he wouldn't agree to it.
"As it was getting towards midnight there was always that doubt you may get a phone call saying its back on, but I was happy it never came."
Understandably Rafael Benitez would be unwilling to let one of his promising and important first team players leave, especially following Jan Kromkamp's (another alternative to the position) earlier departure. On the other hand you can understand Hughes' stance on the deal, being a case of you want one of our best players you'll have to give us a ready made replacement in return!
This is in no way sour grapes at Warnock`s non-arrival, as although he is a great talent and had he arrived I would not have complained, he doesn't have the experience and background that Neill does, so it will be interesting to see what Warnock's thoughts will be some months down the line should he then be again maybe struggling for first team football at Anfield? Would he still be as willing to admit that he was glad that a move never happened...
Meanwhile, whilst on the subject of player arrivals to Ewood Park, Rovers have distanced themselves from potential moves for Teddy Sheringham or Chris Sutton, both of whom have been linked with the club in recent days.
Sheringham, currently down the pecking order at West Ham United had rejected a move to Ewood during the transfer window but with a January departure from Upon Park looking more likely he has again been linked with the club.
Free agent Sutton is available for transfer immediately, so could arrive at anytime, however his return has also been played down.
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Date:Wednesday September 20 2006
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